by Inlander Staff

Part of the fun of Christmas is entering into a magical world of the imagination, and Spokane's thespians

have a full lineup of productions

to keep the illusions flowing.

The classic Dylan Thomas story, A Child's Christmas In Wales, is already onstage at Spokane Civic Theatre, with performances through Dec. 21. Complete with magical snow cats and a 15-foot-tall constable, the old town of Swansea comes alive for a Christmas holiday as only a child can see it. Aunts and uncles, parents and playmates all join in the fun. Adapted to the stage by Jeremy Brooks and Adrian Mitchell, the Civic's traditional holiday production is directed by Jack Phillips, with musical direction by Gary Laing. (Tickets: $10-$18. Call: 325-2507)

Over at Interplayers, a far different kind of holiday scene unfolds in Fully Committed, which runs through Dec. 14. It's just a short time before Christmas at one of Manhattan's trendiest restaurants, and everyone from blue-haired bluebloods to a Mafia don is vying for a table. Trapped at the reservations desk in the basement is a struggling actor, Sam, who must juggle the requests in between dealing with family members, other actors and the imperious chef. Written by Becky Mode and based on her own experiences in the Big Apple food scene, Fully Committed is directed by Michael Weaver and stars Holli Hornlien. (Tickets: $10-$18. Call: 455-PLAY.)

Dance Theatre Northwest once again offers its popular original dance performance, The Toy Shelf, on Dec. 14 and 15 at the Met. Company Director Janet Wilder wrote the show, which premiered in 1995 and has become a local holiday favorite. In it, a toymaker invites schoolchildren into his shop, where the toys come alive at the children's touch. The plot thickens when the elves who are supposed to help the toymaker neglect their duties, allowing mischief and mayhem to ensue. But the engaging characters save the day, assuring a happy ending for all. Each year, Wilder and company change the show slightly, adding new toys and characters, so the show stays fresh and different each year. (Tickets: $6-$12. Call: 922-3023)

And finally, the Spokane Theatrical Group brings back its original musical production, The Little Drummer Boy, for four performances Dec. 21-22. Written by local playwright Matthew Harget, the play tells the story of Isaac, the little boy who received a drum as a gift from his mother just before her death. Isaac's father is the innkeeper who must turn away Mary and Joseph just before the birth of their baby. Leading up to the pivotal scene in the manger, Isaac meets up with Ben, a wandering peddler who serves as the story's narrator, along with bumbling wise men and meddling townsfolk. Tanner Gerety returns as Isaac, with Thomas Heppler taking the role of Ben. David Gigler, Tami Knoell and Patrick McHenry-Kroetch are featured; Troy Nickerson directs, with musical direction by Carol Miyamoto. (Tickets: $10-$15. Call: 325-SEAT.)

Publish Date: 11/28/02

It Happened Here: Expo '74 Fifty Years Later @ Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture

Tuesdays-Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Jan. 26
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